Macy’s Sales Miss Estimates After Discounts Fail to Spur Growth

Macy's New York | Source: Shutterstock

NEW YORK, United States — Macy’s Inc., the second-largest U.S. department-store company, reported fourth-quarter sales that missed analysts’ estimates after deep holiday discounts failed to spur growth.

Revenue fell 1.6 percent to $9.2 billion in the period, which ended Feb. 1, the Cincinnati-based company said today in a statement. Analysts had estimated $9.27 billion on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales at stores open at least a year climbed 1.4 percent, compared with the 2.5 percent analysts had predicted.

Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren marked down merchandise aggressively to compete in a holiday season that saw retailers of all types slashing prices to draw bargain-hunting shoppers. Macy’s also took a charge of $88 million in the quarter for a previously announced cost-cutting program this year that will eliminate about 2,500 jobs.

Macy’s shares fell 1.5 percent to $52.25 in early trading after the report was released. The retailer’s stock was little changed this year before today.

Net income rose 11 percent to $811 million, or $2.16 a share, from $730 million, or $1.83, a year earlier. Excluding charges for eliminating jobs and closing stores, profit was $2.31 a share, beating the $2.17 average of 20 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Macy’s had originally said the cost-cutting program would lead to a charge of as much as $135 million, so the lower expenses helped boost profit.

Last month, Macy’s forecast profit of $4.40 to $4.50 a share for the year through January 2015. The average analyst average estimate is $4.45. The company reaffirmed that forecast today.

By Cotten Timberlake; Editors: Kevin Orland, Nick Turner